chapter  7
China–Japan relations Competition amidst interdependence
WithPaul J. Smith
Pages -65

Economic relations between China and Japan have enjoyed more than four decades of growth, symbiosis and mutual benefit. In the 1970s economic interaction was heavily weighted toward economic aid that Japan provided directly to China. Increasing economic interdependence suggests a future of positive, mutually beneficial economic interactions. However, Yang Jiechi also stated that China and Japan needed to boost ‘mutual strategic trust’ and to view the other ‘as an opportunity and partner for development’. In dramatic contrast to their economic relationship, Japan and China endure a much more complicated, and at some points tempestuous, political and military relationship. The Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands dispute is ensconced within a larger set of controversies between China and Japan over the East China Sea. In addition to East China Sea and history controversies, the Sino-Japanese relationship is being influenced by a growing military asymmetry that is emerging between the two countries.